Bursa firms support mayor’s challenge to Istanbul ferries

Bursa firms support mayor’s challenge to Istanbul ferries

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Bursa firms support mayor’s challenge to Istanbul ferries

An İDO boat operating between the two sides of the city is seen at an Istanbul port. Bursa Mayor Recep Altepe has said the municipality was working on a plan to launch a competitor ferry company as İDO has dramatically increased prices after being privatized. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Local business associations have put their support behind the efforts of Bursa Metropolitan Municipality to establish its own ferry firm between the Mudanya district of the province and Istanbul as it claims that İDO, Istanbul’s ferry company, abuses its monopoly position in marine transport in the Marmara Sea.

Celal Sönmez, the president of the Bursa Trade and Industry Chamber, said Bursa’s ferry firm will bring competition and higher quality to the marine transportation between Istanbul, which is the locomotive of the economy, and Bursa, which is a major industrial province, Bursa Hakimiyet, a local newspaper, reported over the weekend.

The people of Bursa will support Mayor Recep Altepe’s initiative in marine transportation, the chamber’s deputy president, Ali Hazır, said, adding that he expected an investment in floatplanes, which will cut the distance to Istanbul’s Yenikapı port to just eight minutes, as well as ferries.

Bursa Metropolitan Municipality said June 21 that it had taken action to obtain port permission to transport passengers to Istanbul by establishing a marine transportation enterprise, according to Anatolia news agency.

Bursa Industry and Business Association Chairwoman Oya Coşkunöz Yöney said business people would benefit greatly from this venture. Marine transportation that will have significant weight in advertising the province should be under Bursa’s authority, she said.

“İDO sees citizens as easy pickings. Somebody should stop this. That is why we support the effort of the metropolitan municipality,” said Hasan Çepni, the chairman of the Bursa office of the Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD).

The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies South Marmara Regional Chairman Mehmet Akkuş said the monopoly in marine transportations caused many disturbances. “Bursa will get the best of competition.

… We support this effort against İDO which has deficiencies in service particularly in the summer months when the number of tourists increases,” he said.